Why Managing Expectations Is Both Necessary and Risky for the U.N.’s Guterres

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talks to Syrian refugees in a classroom at the U.N.-run Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees, northern Jordan, March 28, 2017 (AP photos by Raad Adayleh).
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres talks to Syrian refugees in a classroom at the U.N.-run Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees, northern Jordan, March 28, 2017 (AP photos by Raad Adayleh).
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Can Antonio Guterres save the United Nations from the tyranny of overinflated expectations? The U.N. secretary-general, who has been on the job for four months, seems clear about the limitations of his post. When the Security Council selected Guterres for the job last October, he declared that the Syrian war would be his top priority. But speaking in London last week, he implied he could not do much about it. Peace will only be possible, Guterres noted, “when all the parties in the conflict understand and believe they cannot win the war.” This is not exactly a revelation: U.N. officials […]

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